Capello speaks out on Rooney injury

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Fabio Capello will pick up the phone to make the call he dreaded desperately hoping to hear some good news from Wayne Rooney.

Manchester United wasted no time in getting a medical assessment on the ankle injury their star man suffered against Bayern Munich last night.

After waiting patiently on the Finnair flight that brought him back to England for his fellow passengers to disembark, Rooney limped off, with the aid of his crutches, straight to a waiting car that whisked him off for a scan.

Rather more time will elapse before Sir Alex Ferguson reveals the extent of the injury in his normal Friday briefing ahead of the key Premier League encounter with Chelsea, which Rooney now seems certain to miss.

By then, Capello will have made his call, his fingers tightly crossed the news is not bad.

"I will speak to him today or tomorrow morning," said Capello.

"I was not happy, but I'm not happy whenever any England players get injured.

"It is too early to say how badly he is injured. We need to wait for a scan."

Although he could not say it, privately Capello must think if the injury keeps Rooney out for two or three weeks, it will have worked out perfectly.

After all, as what is thought to be a sprained ankle heals, Rooney will be getting some rest that could prove vital to England in South Africa next summer.

Longer than three weeks gets slightly worrying, double that would have the sweat beads running down Capello's neck.

Any injury at all is bad news for Ferguson, yet it appears inevitable given the pain Rooney was in as he went down under Mario Gomez's challenge last night in the build-up to Bayern's fateful Champions League winner.

In the next week, United's campaign will be shaped, given the Chelsea clash is followed next Wednesday by the second leg against Bayern, which Ferguson's men must now win.

Beyond that, matches against Blackburn and Manchester City await, before the resumption of European duties against either Lyon or Bordeaux should Bayern have been beaten.

This is what was immediately at risk when Rooney left the Allianz Arena on crutches last night, images that were instantly flashed around the world.

He still had them with him as he was allowed to bypass the normal check-in procedures at Munich Airport this lunchtime and was also whisked away from Manchester airport without going through passport control, highlighting what a special case the 24-year-old is.

Not that everyone is aware of England's most famous footballer.

Asked to return Rooney's crutches, which had been taken to the back of the plane for safe-keeping, a well-meaning steward walked past the former Everton star without so much as a second glance and had to be turned back in the striker's direction by another member of the cabin crew.

All the TV cameramen, photographers and interested observers knew who they were looking for though.

And, whilst Capello is likely to be one of the first to find out, a nation will be holding its breath to discover what Ferguson has to say on what, for England at least, they hope will be good Friday.

Comments